GREEK BAKLAVA WITH HOMEMADE PHYLLO
Baklava is one of all time favorite desserts. Make the perfect homemade Baklava the traditional Greek way!
For the dough:
*8 cups all purpose flour , plus more for work surface
*1 1/4 to 1 1/3 cups of hot water
*2 tsp white vinegar
*2 tsp Greek Olive oil
*Juice of 1 lemon
*200g sheep butter, melted for brushing the Phyllo.
For the filling:
*700g walnuts , coarsely chopped
*200g hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
*150g sesame seeds
*1/3 cup sugar
*2 tbsp ground cinnamon
*1/3 tsp ground cloves
For the syrup:
*4 cups granulated sugar
*4 cups water
*1 cup Greek honey
*1 tbsp orange extract
*5 whole cloves
*juice of 1 lemon
Combine chopped nuts in a mixing bowl. Add the sugar, cinnamon, ground cloves and sesame seeds. Stir to mix.
Preheat the oven to 160 C – 350 F.
Add 6 cups of flour to a large bowl (the remaining 2 cups will be used when rolling out the dough). Make a well in the center and add water (start with 1 cup) and vinegar. Combine with a fork. Add the olive oil and lemon juice and continue mixing, adding more water or flour if needed to make a soft dough.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead by hand, oiling hands if needed, until the dough is soft, malleable and smooth about 10 minutes.
Divide the dough into 20 equal pieces and roll each piece out to a roughly oval shape, sprinkling the work surface and phyllo with flour to keep from sticking.
Lightly brush the baking dish with melted butter. Take one sheet of phyllo and line the baking pan with it, fold in any excess. Brush the phyllo sheet with butter and gently press in the corners and sides of the baking pan.
Lay another phyllo sheet on top, brush with butter, and press into the pan as you have done with the first sheet. Spread with some nut mixture ( 1 1/2 cup ) on top.
Layer the remaining phyllo sheets following the same process as before. ( Lay Phyllo sheet, butter, nut mixture).
Generously brush the top layer of phyllo with butter.
With a knife, cut diagonal lines, in the phyllo to make out diamond pieces. ( Do not press the knife all the way down ).
In a small saucepan heat the sunflower oil with the butter. Cook for 10 min . When is hot enough, drizzle over baklava.
Bake the baklava for 40 to 50 min or until golden brown.
While the baklava is baking, make the syrup.
Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Add the honey, orange extract, and whole cloves; stir to mix.
Bring to a boil, then lower heat and let simmer for about 25 minutes.
Remove syrup from heat and let cool to lukewarm. Add lemon juice.
Remove the whole cloves.
When baklava is ready, pour the cooled honey syrup to cover the entire hot baklava. Let set to completely absorb the syrup.
A few hours later, cut the baklava carefully through the earlier marked pieces and serve.